Diet and Nutrition

What Are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?

Key Takeaways

  • Turmeric offers many health benefits.
  • Turmeric is used in kitchen to add flavor and taste to the food.
  • Turmeric is used in several home remedies for health.

Turmeric is a commonly used spice that has been an integral part of Asian cuisine. It is also used as a medicine for many conditions in Asia as well. Curcumin, one of the main components of turmeric, is reported to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Other compounds present in the herb are also considered to have medicinal values.

Turmeric is very useful not only in kitchen where it adds its color and its taste in the various dishes and recipes but it can work well in many home remedies also. The use of turmeric offers many advantages which certainly help to have good health.

But, most of the studies conducted on turmeric are in the laboratory and more significant studies are required to prove the health benefits of turmeric.

Some of the benefits of this herb include:

  • Prevention of cancer – Studies report that curcumin inhibits the growth of tumor cells. This herb is considered to be helpful in preventing prostate cancer and also in reducing the progression of cancer in the prostate glands. It provides protection against radiation-induced cancer. Studies also show that curcumin is effective in preventing the growth of cancer cells in T-cell leukemia, colon carcinoma, and breast cancer.
  • Treatment of arthritis – Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Reports show that turmeric helps to reduce joint pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. The antioxidant properties of the herb prevents the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
  • Control diabetes – Turmeric can regulate the levels of insulin in the blood, which helps to control diabetes. It also increases the effect of diabetes medications. Another notable benefit of turmeric is its effect in reducing insulin resistance, one of the major causes of Type-2 diabetes.
  • Wound healing – It is considered to have natural anti-bacterial and disinfectant properties that helps in wound healing. It may be useful in alleviating the symptoms of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease – Turmeric is considered to be useful in removing plaque buildup, one of the characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease. It improves the blood circulation to the brain and slows down the progression of the disease.
  • Improves digestion – It improves the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases, like ulcerative colitis, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. But people with gall bladder disease are suggested not have turmeric, as it may worsen the symptoms.
  • Improves detoxification – Turmeric increases the production of enzymes involved in the detoxification of blood. It is also known to improve blood circulation.
  • Reduce fat storage in the body – By increasing the flow of bile, turmeric helps to breakdown fat, which helps to maintain a healthy body weight and treat obesity.
  • Regulate levels of cholesterol – It helps to prevent many cardiovascular diseases by reducing the levels of blood cholesterol.
  • Improves the functioning of immune system – Turmeric is known to stimulate the immune system and also offers antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties helping in preventing many common diseases.

12 Ways to add turmeric to your life:

1. Brew Turmeric tea:

The simple way to use turmeric is by making turmeric tea.  Take 1 cup of water and boil it and then stir in ¼ teaspoon of pure turmeric powder or fresh grated turmeric. Let the mixture boil for a while.  You can stir honey or fresh lemon juice for added flavor before drinking it.

2. Stir up a curry powder:

Cooking with turmeric is highly nourishing. You can add black pepper or oil or both. It increases the bioavailability of curcumin which the body can use. You can even eat turmeric in dishes with some fat, and plenty of black pepper and curry powder.  The basic curry powder is made using

8 parts ground coriander,

4 parts ground cumin

1 part each of turmeric and cayenne or paprika

More you use cayenne to make it spicy and use paprika to make it less spicy. Use the curry powder to make Chickpea Curry Wraps or Coconut Split Pea Soup

3. Blend the turmeric into a smoothie or juice

Add a pinch or two of ground turmeric or one to two inches of raw fresh turmeric to the flavorsome smoothie. The smoothie will taste delicious. The pinch of turmeric when added it changes the color of the smoothie and it increases the bioavailability. You can dissolve turmeric in a warm coconut oil before blending it.

4. Season roasted veggies:

The fresh vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or sprouts are fried in the olive oil and add turmeric to it along with any other seasonings. You can roast it at 400 degrees and toss it once until its perfectly one. The dish will be delicious and healthy too.

5. Brushing teeth with turmeric:

Most of people will raise their eyebrows when they are told about brushing the teeth with turmeric and most of us will think about getting yellow teeth. but if your try turmeric while brushing your teeth, it will whiten your teeth more. you can add pinch of turmeric powder in a half glass of water deep your brush and in the water and brush your teeth for few minutes. You can rinse and then brush your teeth with normal tooth-paste. The turmeric will certainly brighten your teeth completely.

 6. Add color to boring dishes

The turmeric can change the look and feel of the things around. You can add pinch of turmeric to the rice before boiling and you will get nicely colorful rice while having your lunch or dinner. Also you can add it in the quinoa, mashed potatoes, or eggs which can add color. Though it changes the color lightly but it adds to the taste also.

7. Drink Golden Milk:

It is one of the most famous and very healthy ancient Ayurvedic recipes. There are many ways of doing it. Let’s discuss some of them. You can make use of milk which can be of goat, nut, oat or dairy. You can make the paste, simply bring ½ cup filtered water to a low simmer and then add ¼ cup of pure turmeric powder to the mixture. The turmeric can start changing the color of the milk when added to it. It is one of the healthiest ways of drinking the milk. The golden colored milk can also be added with either coconut oil or ghee.

Along with the pure turmeric, milk can also be added with cinnamon, ginger, or black pepper, and honey or maple syrup for some sweeteners according to your taste.

8. Make homemade mustard:

The mustard is made with the help of basic mustard with ½ cup ground mustard, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon each of turmeric and salt. You can store the mustard in the glass in the jar.

9. Mix up a cold remedy:

Turmeric boost immunity and it helps in fighting against the viruses like the common cold. Turmeric is used for many useful and highly effective home remedies. You can add 1 tablespoon of powdered turmeric with 7 tablespoons of raw honey which is called Golden Honey. The golden honey works well during the cold and it helps to boost immunity and fights against cold.

10. Make natural food coloring:

Why should we make use of artificial colors in the food while baking with artificial dyes like Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, when it’s so easy to make with turmeric? You can just boil some water; add in enough turmeric which can create yellow shade which you will love to have. Boil the mixture for 3 – 5 minutes and you will get a nice shade of yellow which you want.  Allow the mixture to cool and store it in a glass jar in the fridge. You can make use of it as and when you needed to add the color.

11. Spread it on your skin:

The turmeric is highly effective in controlling the inflammation and itching caused by eczema when applied directly to the skin. You can make use of pure turmeric and add little water or use coconut oil or almond oil, or sesame oil. You can make the mixture smooth and soft. The mixture can be applied over the skin and the affected area.  You can wash it about 15 minutes. The turmeric helps to relieve the pain and swelling of sprained joints more effectively.

12. Reduce body pain:

One popular sprain remedy is to a mix of 2 tablespoons turmeric along with 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and a few drops of water to make the thick paste. You can carefully rub the mixture on the sprain and wrap it in a tight cloth bandage. Let the bandage be covered for half an hour over the surface. The turmeric works well and reduces the sprain and offers relief to the affected part of the body.

Turmeric has many properties and it can be the best to make a person get good night’s sleep. If you add a pinch of turmeric to the glass of milk and drink it at night before you sleep then it works well on your body and will have good effect so much that you will sleep sound at night.